The sea is blue
at high tide at night,
a moon above
a great ball of light,
stars sprinkling on
a canvas of sky,
gulls cawing out,
“Come with us and fly.”
Dolphins and whales
through the seas they run,
singing their songs
under moon and sun.
Waves of water
rising and falling,
sea and the wind
hear the shore calling.
Blue and the blue
the sky and the sea
and the white clouds
and shadows of trees.
Sand brown beaches
nesting turtle eggs
till the sea calls
from the water’s edge.
The sun setting,
moon rise in the east,
the great and the least.
a distance away,
sea and the sky,
moonlight and midday.
The sea is blue
at high tide at night.
Beck stepped onto the sand. His sneakers sank a bit but not much. He looked out at the sea and thought about all the men who had died on beaches. His father at Normandy. His first wife’s father at Dunkirk. And his uncle storming the island of Iwo Jima. Tears came to his eyes. He couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have to face an enemy, spewing bullets down on him as he hurried up a beach.
Three times he’d been married. Three times marriage had failed for him. Why? He always wondered. Who knew? As he stood on the beach, he gazed out at the sea. Men used to go to sea to prove their manhood and see foreign shores and meet girls in sarongs. He’d never been more than one hundred miles from the house where he was born. He didn’t have an adventuring soul, his wives accused. It wasn’t that.
His feet were planted in the earth where he’d been born. He’d seen pictures of other places. None had the beauty of his home. The green grass in spring. The summer breezes. The autumn leaves. The winter snows. And God, the setting for the farm was absolutely gorgeous in the fall when the harvests came in. It brought tears to the seventy-seven-year-old man.
Soon all that would be over. Beck had cancer and his days were numbered. He hadn’t told his children yet. He’d have to do it soon. He came to this beach to put his life in perspective.
He stripped down to his shorts and ran toward the water. It hit him in the face hard. It felt good. It felt so good.
Celestina loved the water. When she danced in the rain, she thought of herself as a fairy princess. Emphasis being on the Fairy. A Tinkerbell perhaps. Helping Peter save Wendy and the Lost Boys. She’d dance for hours if her mother had let her. But that is not the way of mothers. They are always trying to end fairy tale adventures. Celestina loved the water. Especially when it came down nice and easy, not in buckets. The bucket days were not fairy tale kinds of rain. Those were the days she thought that maybe, just maybe, she was a mermaid.
Once a week on Monday, Uncle Bardie shares a movie with his Readers he gives a big two thumbs up. It will simply be a short excerpt or a trailer. Uncle Bardie might even throw in a reflection on the movie. If so, it will make an appearance below the video. So pop some popcorn and give yourself a treat. This week’s movie is “The Milagro Beanfield War” (1988):
From 1980 to 1994, Robert Redford directed four superb movies: “Ordinary People”, “The Milagro Beanfield War”, “A River Runs Through It” and “Quiz Show”. He made no appearances in any of them. He was the narrator of “A River Runs Through It”.
Of them, it was “The Milagro Beanfield War” I loved. Adapted from the John Nichols novel, it gives us a New Mexico we don’t usually to see. Of all of Redford’s films, there is something special about this movie. Maybe it is the exploration of a Mexican-American community that time is passing by. Maybe it is that the old man sees the Coyote Angel when he comes for a visit. Maybe it is that the old man, Amarante Cordova, doesn’t see a border between this earthy world and the world of the beyond.
Maybe it is that Joe Mondragon stands up for himself. And in so doing, he is standing up for his town. He gives us a character who is indeed heroic. In a land where water is valuable, he decides to reclaim his little share of it to grow beans when all the odds are against him.
If you think this is a serious film and not any fun, you’d be wrong. It is a serious film, yes. But there is a lot of humor here, including Daniel Stern’s Herbie Platt’s encounter with a pickup truck and Amarante’s advice to him about how to sleep in a shack and what to do when he uses the outhouse.
Then there is Dave Grusin’s wonderful score which won an Academy Award. There’s the cinematography of Robbie Greenberg. And there’s Redford’s direction. All of this brings to the screen a very magical movie.
It’s raining in America,
or at least it’s raining on my town,
water splashing the windshield,
wipers setting a beat for the music on the radio,
headlights from the oncoming cars
falling like Christmas lights onto the city streets,
travelling their passages to love and glory,
passengers ridding waves of time and space.
It’s night time in the city,
And angels walk the clouds above, waiting for the daylight.